A tamil priest during a religious ceremony. Munnar, Kerala state, SW India, January 2016
The Independence Day (January 26th) is observed throughout India with great joy. Flag-hoisting ceremonies, parades, cultural events and also public religious ceremonies, some of them specifically designed for this occasion (fortunately, Western-style „secularism” is completely unknown to this parts of the world).
Indians celebrate this holiday by bonding with family and friends, listening to patriotic songs, watching patriotic movies, attending religious services inside temples or outdoor. The national flag is proudly displayed on their attire, accessories and homes.
Me and Corina were shy observers to this religious ceremony on the outskirts of Munnar, a city in the mountains of Kerala state. The man was a priest and led a gathering of women and children (i presume the service was for women and children mostly, but i cannot be sure) to a river, holding flower pots and oils.
Well, not so shy in the end, since they invited us to their homes to drink tea and eat a cake baked (obviously) for this special day.
A Westerner cannot help but noticing that in India men still look like men and women still look like women…
Tea house, Munnar, Kerala state, SW India
Some 35.000 Tamil workers from nearby Tamil Nadu state have been relocated on the tea plantations in the mountains near the city of Munnar. Workers come here with their families or establish one here. They are provided with housing, baby care facilities, health care facilities in several colonies located a few kms from each other.
Each colony has a communal building serving as caffe/tea house, meeting hall etc.
One cup of black tea (excellent, by the way) has a price of 5 rupees for locals (and 10 rupees, unofficial price, for tourists – not very frequent though). One euro equals 70 rupees…
Tea plantations are the property of Tata Chai (70%) and Kerala state government (30%). The Govt here os run by the Communist Party. Seems like even the Commies are not what they used to be.
Anyway, working people seem to be taken care of here.
Ernakulam, Kerala, S-W India, January 2016
Tamil girl in school uniform with headscarf. Met her on a ferry crossing the waterway from Alappuzha to Ernakulam. She was going to school, 1 hr each way, each day.
The uniform was in violet nuances with black headscarf.
She was beautiful indeed and seem innocent. Her eyes do say a lot.
Munnar, Kerala state, S-W India, January 2016
Tamil boy from a small workers village neighbouring the tea plantations in the mountains near the city of Munnar. Very modest, hardworking people. Seemed to me they were happy indeed.